Sunday, March 29, 2015

Life Lately: Spring things

Recently, I've ignored this here blog. I've been so busy between Henry, social commitments, and my business that this was placed on the back burner. And there have been runs! So many fun things going on, let's catch up.

We have been running. Slowly but surely, I'm rebuilding my stroller run stamina. It's not a matter of if I can handle it physically endurance wise, it's my stinking tendinitis. I have to be careful to not over do it, or else it flares up and a few weeks of resting ensues. It's so frustrating, so I am being as smart as possible. I have had to cut out yoga (downward dogs, planks and push ups are basically the worst thing ever for wrist tendinitis), so I will resumes my pilates this week. I've been bad about going to the gym, but I'm getting back to it this week. 
 Bright? Sunny? COVER?! It was really windy. Thank you NYC "spring". I thought my running jacket was retired...alas, this was from this past week!

 The one day it was crazy warm and we all ran together. It was awesome. 

We have been enjoying going out more. Henry is finally able to be in things that contain him besides a stroller (High chairs and shopping carts). This is making life SO much easier! Mr. Miller and I love going out for happy hour on Thursdays or Fridays, and now that we can put him in a high chair it's so much more fun! Henry L-O-V-E-S being in the shopping cart. He thinks he's such  big boy! And I don't have to put him in his car seat in the cart, leaving me more room to put my purchases....a dangerous thing at Target ;-)

Happy Hour Hero. Puffs are his vice.

 Yes, we have used the snow suit far too often the past few weeks. We thought it was retired. It has been temporarily reinstated.

We had Henry's church dedication! So many friends and family came out to support us and it was wonderful. We had a great time at the service and went for pizza afterwards.

Henry was in great company with lots of beautiful babies!

Baby model Henry. He's a tough cookie to smile for the big camera. Thanks Heshan! 

There are two best friends living in our house. Yes, you might think it's Mr. Miller and I (Okay two sets of best friends....) but a baby and a canine are currently all about one another. Every morning it's the same routine: I put Henry down to play, Lambeau wants to play with him, but is scared of getting his hair pulled, so he barks at him to play, I have to come and's the same every.single.morning. I've been experimenting with making Lambeau sit and stay by me (Usually I'm doing dishes at this time to get the day started clean and clear) and when I'm done tidying up we sit together. As long as I have treats, Lambeau plays along. He may be small but his bark is loud. Woosah.
The bottom picture is mid bark. "Kid play with me! Your toys are awesome!"

I have been getting organized. In my former line of work as a teacher, I had a "pen and paper planner". Everything was written in that planner, accounting for each day, each lesson, each issue or meeting. And then the endless to-do lists in the side columns! Well, since my Rodan and Fields business is growing rapidly (Read: I have tripled my business from January to March), I decided I needed to get organized. I found this planner and it has been AMAZING. If you need to get organized, want to set weekly goals etc, get this planner. Which leads me to my next life happening....

I have extended my maternity leave another year. I will be staying home with Henry another year! We are very excited not only for this chance, but for my ability to run my own business during this "one income" time. It has been a roller coaster ride becoming a new mom, but we have found our sea legs and have loved it.

How about you? Any great spring happenings? Is your spring warmer than the frozen northeast? Do you spend every moment outside the second it gets slightly warm? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Dairy Free Soy Free Elimination Diet: Part IV BIG NEWS

No need to keep you in suspense: 

His legs are so yummy in these jammies. Henry was excited to try yogurt!

Here's how this world changing discovery happened. I was feeding Henry some Beech Nut food that he LOVED. It was spinach, green beans and quinoa. Now, I thought it was really creamy, and had tasted it. I would eat this, for reals. Anyway, something in me said, "I wonder if they put water in this to make it creamy???" Well, when I looked at the ingredients I nearly lost my marbles: HEAVY.STINKING.CREAM. Whaaaaat?! Beech Nut is known for being "only _________", AKA no additives. What I didn't realize is when the food goes to "stage 3", things that should be added to their diet (ie dairy) gets added to the baby food. Well, my little lion man hadn't been spitting up. I called the doctor immediately and we formulated a plan. 

He wasn't sure about the cold stuff but started gobbling it up after a couple of bites!

Babies often grow out of food allergies around certain ages. Six, nine, and twelve months are the most popular times for them to do this. We knew at six months he was not ready (We had an accidental exposure and it did NOT go well). The doctor was hesitant to test at nine months since his six months reaction had been severe. Well, I accidentally tested him on it and he was FINE! So this past Sunday we celebrated Henry's Dairy Day. We gave him 1/4 of  YoYo Baby yogurt and waited for any reaction (Which is usually throwing up and blood in his stool). Well, NOTHING happened. I was elated. I couldn't resist reuniting with an old love after seven long months:

I only had one slice. Didn't want to make myself sick over the

So, after seven months, Henry is able to consume dairy and so am I. It was very stressful at times, easier at others, and terrible over the holidays ;-) However, we are thrilled to be over this hurdle, and are ready to test the next one: soy. I will be giving Henry a little soy formula in the next few days to see his reaction. Here's to hoping for another breakthrough for our cute dude!

This was my reward on Sunday. Queens Comfort's chocolate cake donut covered in caramel glaze and topped with pretzels. Ooooooo Heaven is a place on earth....

Friday, March 6, 2015

Henry: 9 Months

Let this ninth month begin! With it brings warmer temps, hopefully more outdoors time, and SPRING! We've been bundled up and hanging out indoors, but things are getting really fun. Here are some cool things that have been happening this month:

  • We will know Henry's weight next Wednesday! I'm guessing over 19lbs.
  • He has TWO teeth! And I strongly suspect numbers three and four aren't be far behind...
  • Henry sits on his own and plays. He's surrounded by my maternity pillow because he sometimes lunges for Lambeau as he passes.
  • He has done some scooting backwards, but not much in the crawling department.
  • He dances! I think I forgot to mention this last month, but when he's happy he moves back and forth and smiles! He does it for us and complete strangers. Flirt.
  • Henry is obsessed with Facetime. Mr. Miller tends to miss him during the day, so we Facetime about once a day. Henry loses.his.mind. He flips out, laughing, dancing and lunging for daddy's face. 
  • He strongly disdains any texture in his food but he is slowly learning to take in food with very small forms of "chunks" (ie tiny pieces of apples in apple sauce. Kid is sensitive!).
  • We are dedicating him at our church this month and we are very excited.
  • Sleep: dare I say we've evened out? He tries to wake up around 5-5:45, and usually if we give him the pacifier he goes back to sleep until 6-6:45. It's been nice not waking up multiple times a night! And in comes the time change...God help us all.
  • Henry sits in the grocery cart now. He LOVES this. He wants to see everything, and so many people talk to him, he becomes the mayor of the grocery store!
  • We have a big moment coming up on Sunday. Will tell more about it next week!
I can't express how much fun this stage is. Despite being cooped up for days at a time, we just hang out and play. He truly has the sweetest nature. I'm excited to begin to show him more of the world as it warms up. He is a joy and we are so grateful for him. Even when he is cranky he'll still crack a smile for a second. His joy shines through constantly.

Happy 9 Months Little Lion Man!
His latest trick is double fisting in his mouth. Rock star.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Looking back: Making Progress

I've taken a bit of a step back the past two weeks. Instead of my consistent three nights a week of working out, I've been going once, maybe twice. Read: More like once. My tendinitis has been acting up again, I've had events to go to one or two nights and I have been TIRED. I think it's the last of winter's hibernation temptation grasping at one last lazy streak.

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I mean I NEED this.

All this decline was due to my view in the mirror for Yoga a couple of weeks ago. I was feeling bloated, lethargic, but got myself to the front row. I wore an outfit that wasn't especially complimentary, and my ego took a hit. I came home so upset about my "lack of progress". I think this sent me into my decline. Seriously. Losing weight is hard. People who think it's easy are kidding themselves. I let one moment of not feeling "great", even "good", set me back. It distracted me during the class and I walked home with lots of negative thoughts. My poor husband. He's always so encouraging as I wallow.

That is the "I give up smile". Spare tire. Check.

Yesterday, I had a breakthrough. We went for a stroller run. A REAL stroller run! We hadn't been on one since December, and that one was a fluke warm day! We got muddy, wet, had to walk to avoid a catastrophe and may have used the BOB as a boat and stroller. But we ran. And you know what? It gave me just a bit of motivation. Spring is coming. Daytime runs are coming .Vitamin D is COMING! I looked back at some old pictures for #TBT and saw that I have, indeed, made progress. 

We had a great run yesterday!

My first CT postpartum run was hot, sunny, and awesome.  

 My first postpartum run!

 Rogas were a great postpartum wardrobe choice.

I thought this shirt would be complimentary post baby. I was wrong. Very wrong.

I need to cut Lamby's hair, he looks so cute here!

All this to say, I know I'm more fit than I was a few months ago. I have to remind myself that, although I'm not seeing the progress I think I should be seeing, I am seeing progress. I loved Abby's post. This line really struck me:

"But I’ll be damned if I’m going to let the fact that I’m not back to where I used to be hold me back from taking on this race." - Abby Bales

So, stay tuned: I want to sign up for something. Next week's forecast calls for a strong chance of stroller runs (mid 40's insert Sister Act choir singing Heat Wave). I'm thinking I want to tackle the half marathon distance in the fall, so possibly a 10k this spring. 

How about you? Does signing up for a race motivate you? Any races I *HAVE* to run? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Going Beyond the Naysayers

If you follow me on social media, you know I am a skincare consultant. I signed on with Rodan and Fields last March, pretty pregnant, and looking for a side business while staying at home with my son. It was the right choice for me for many reasons, including the ability to "conduct business anywhere", the support and training tools, but most importantly: the product stinking works. 

I had a few naysayers. People who rolled their eyes (And maybe still do!) at my posts. People who unfollowed me. People who said "well you get a discount that's the only reason you use it". Well, after I posted my before and after picture, showing my melasma (mask of pregnancy) completely diminished, people started getting interested. I have been working hard, and it is paying off. My business is growing, and people are realizing that this isn't just a hobby.
Please don't mind my horrible faces. I don't think before and afters should be happy faces ;-D If the coloring is off, I'm not sure why. It doesn't look this way in my picture folder!

So, I'm being bold and posting this on my blog. I know this is a running blog turned training/Henry blog, so I won't inundate it with my promoting my business. As I've said to people who become interested: I'm not pushy, I am persistent. I wanted to let you, my readers, know that I represent an incredible line of products that I know you will love. Whatever your skin issue, there are Rodan and Fields products that can help you. You can check out my website to get more information, or contact me directly at Here are a few before and afters, because everyone secretly loves perusing them!

This is my personal friend and hair stylist Wendy. Her results are what ultimately convince me that this was an incredible product and I had to get on board! She used to call herself "dirt face", and the mask of pregnancy made it even worse. She was thrilled with her results as she prepared for her wedding last September!

I leave you with this message: be bold in whatever you do. Forget public opinion. If you're passionate about something, DO IT. Run that ultra marathon, try a triathlon, attempt to go to a November Project workout, or join my Rodan and Fields team (cough cough). Whatever you're scared to do, try it out. Don't live life wondering "Could I have done it???"

"I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that's how you grow. When there's that moment of "Wow, I'm notreally sure I can do this," and you push through those moments, that's when you have a breakthrough." — Marissa Mayer

Monday, February 23, 2015

Don't Judge a Workout by Its Instructor

I have been encountering a lot of different fitness instructors lately. I guess because of the weather, many instructors are getting subs to teach their classes. I have been to six Pilates classes and I have had five different instructors. Each one of them is completely different, yet by the end I found they certainly had their own benefits. I had mixed feelings about most of them, but they all taught me a lesson. Here are a few of the types of instructors I've had recently and what they taught me that went beyond exercise:

I find enjoyment from this photo as I like to workout and this gives me a drop of happy inspiration.

The Laid Back instructor. This was my first class and she was chit chatting with a friend. She wasn't walking around the room I really didn't feel like she was engaged in the class. The flip side was that I got to chit chat a bit with my friend who was with me, so I guess it wasn't so bad. However, the following week she taught a very intense class. So, I learned that even fitness instructors have their off days.

The Chatty Kathy Instructor. This was a VERRRRRRRY interesting experience. She started a conversation with another attendee as though they were picking up right where they left off about traveling to a certain country (I later learned that this had been an ongoing conversation in the class for a few weeks). She wouldn't.stop.talking. She would give instructions then pick right back up in the conversation. Then she started to ask people their names, what they do...all while instructing. It was very distracting for me, and I was getting annoyed. However, the time FLEW by in the class, and she was really great at helping me. So, I learned that some distractions, though they seem annoying, can actually help pass the time.

The REALLY Strict Instructor. This was a girl after my own heart. She made my teacher's heart soar! Very present, using precise language, and constantly circulating to check us out. Every time she gave an instruction, she would end it with "I'm watching"...gah something I totally would say! However, this was during my first few classes where I was struggling. So, I learned through her repeatedly demonstrating modifications to embrace what I could do.

The Sweet Instructor. This girl was so nice. She was very professional yet sweet, and very calming despite a challenging workout. However, I was feeling uncomfortable while doing some of the moves she was dictating. So, I learned to ask for help. She didn't see me struggling, so I had to stop and ask. It made a world of difference with my overall workout.

After all these experiences, I have been going into class determined to get the best workout possible. Instructors definitely help, but the overall effort is up to me! It's my time to feel the burn, and I'm not going to let a difference in styles ruin that.

How about you? Do you have a favorite kind of instructor? Do you stop going to a class if they're not your style? What was the CRAZIEST instructor you have ever had like? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Workout Modifications: Your Best Work, Not Less Work

One of my goals this year was to work on my core. Between being a nominal core work person combined with having a baby, things have gotten pretty weak in my mid section. As I mentioned, I joined a gym. One of the factors that helped make that decision was that the gym offered Pilates a few times a week when I could actually make the class. Although this helped convince me to join, Pilates is a double edged sword.

You see, Pilates scares me. I've taken several classes in the past, and I know what it entails: CORE CORE CORE. C CURVE C CURVE C CURVE. SCOOP SCOOP SCOOP. All these words send a shiver down my spine (and abs...). Ab work often makes me feel nauseous, and post baby ab work is no different!

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I took my first class and tried to do EVERYTHING. I would find myself super frustrated because I could only lower my legs two times before I had to take a break. I could only do 30 of the Pilates 100. I kept trying and trying and trying but felt weak, deflated, and unworthy. Seriously? It was my first class! I was sore for days. When I went back to my second class a few days later, the instructor put a strong focus on something that changed my experience: modifications.

No pictures from class. that's not a pretty sight. This is from the yoga challenge that I'm currently really behind lower back has been killing me so I've taken two rest days from all workouts.

Modifications can be beneficial on both ends of the fitness spectrum. Modifications does not mean to make things easier, it simply means to change things. This instructor listed modifications to increase or decrease the level of difficulty. I started thinking about the word modifications, and realized that it didn't mean putting out less work. Modifications mean putting in your best work. I realized as I used the modifications, such as not lifting my head, staying in tabletop instead of extending my legs, that I was able to complete more reps of exercises that were previously discouraging to me.

Doesn't matter your workout. Always Dig Deep within you to get the results you want. @homeweightloss

I walked away from the class feeling pleased with my performance. I had dragged my feet to attend another one after a discouraging first class, and I am so glad I did. I am excited to see my progress from modifications that lessen the difficulty to modifications that increase the difficulty. Either way, I'm still getting a burn! 

How about you? Do you feel weird about doing modifications? How do you motivate yourself to try new workouts? Pilates: are you a fan? TELL ME ABOUT IT!